Can I sit at your table?
Im a part of KU Leuven Advanced Master of Digital Humanities. Second year, so the thing is fresh. Im one of those who love to go in undefined places in order to just think things through. There is nothing like a good piece of exclusion from society.
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And I am always pleasantly surprised when something with a name as “Introduction to Digital Humanities” asks me what I think about it. It feels very nice to think about such things. I feel very empowered. I give a lot of my time to thinking about that.
Although then I actually find out, that it is already decided. Digital Humanities already has a legacy, an already established communication process and a thriving community that has some that are in it and some that are out.
Again, bad timing, why can I never be there to make history (sigh).
So really, what a cruel joke to play on a student and to ask for a definition of something that is already defined. Like why waste our time on this, if I could be just reading a story of someone who had to go through the pain of this:
Am I a Digital Humanist? Confessions of a Neoliberal Tool
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But then you should be able to understand how definitions are made in order to be able to sit at the big definers table.
But then again I did not come to sit around that table and discuss the meaning of me sitting behind a table until its time to hand in a paper.
Because: BORING — TOO MUCH TEXT TO READ —TOO MANY POSSIBILITY TO INSULT PEOPLE I HAVE NEVER MET — TOO MANY AKWARD CONVERSATIONS ON WHY DID YOU MAKE BIG DEFINERS CRY — GIMME SOME IMAGES OF CUTE DOGS IN BASKETS.
And due to that I came for the tools, to get some work done. I just came here to get some tools on how to deal with this reality of the world I am a part of.
Because everyone is saying you should adapt to the new ways of how world functions nowadays. And yes the world is different. I went from ringing the pizza place for a quattro-stagioni getting to me in a car to sending an emoji to order pizza to be delivered in an uber.
The way I see it, the internet was a good solution on how to exchange information between professors.
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So it was first a public good.
And then people saw how to turn it into private good to earn money.
And gave other people the money to be able to have more private goods.
And that makes people want to have public goods.
Because everyone wants to enjoy private goods in the eyes of public.
(Plus I think that can get us closer towards everyone just thinking about their self-realization, which would be such a great world to have full of Oprahs, YouTubers and Ellens discussing Eat, Pray, Love and showing the next big viral hit golden retriever piloting a plane across Antarctica with a caption — You will not believe what this golden retriever did when he found there were no cookies aboard the plane.)
Maslow's hierarchy of needs - Wikipedia
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So I think internet is good.
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But then again why did I go back to studying if I have internet. Like why did I not just Google Digital Humanities, sign in a course and devour some information and be done with it. Well because not all that is on the internet is actually information, and not all patterns are able to be seen just by observing the screen linking you to the internet.
And why out of all the things Digital Humanities. Why not just Computer Science and back to Bachelor.
Well because I was not broken — and if it aint broke dont fix it.
Plus I craft my own opinion about the state of things, and in order to do that you go and check the basic components of information creation in the environment that is created for you to actually create some information on your own.
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And also if you are thinking too much it becomes this constant feeling of hallucination in a real world.
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And universities are these final safe spaces to think differently without any goal to your thought. Plus all the furniture there is organised in a way you cant actually trip and stumble a lot, because it has to be accessible to everyone. So the design of an university is all inclusive since the beginning.
And its a great feeling when you can think freely and just enjoy discussing your thinking in this creative way, where you first expand it to the absurd proportions and then narrow it to cold hard logic until you can distill it into a small piece of information.
And if you're lucky you think its important enough of being shared with others.
But how to share that piece of information, well that is a whole different story.
And the more im looking at things the more im sensing that in the future the art of creation of information and the art of communication of information will have to be taught together if we want to preserve the art of critical thinking.